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  1. #1
    Tenured roisterer SolitaryWalker's Avatar
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    Default In search for a better understanding

    “I wish to propose for the reader’s favorable consideration a doctrine which may, I fear, appear wildly paradoxical and subversive. The doctrine in question is this: that it is undesirable to believe a proposition when there is no ground whatever for supposing it true, I must, of course, admit that if such an opinion became common it would completely transform social life and our political system; since both are at present faultless, this must weigh against it. I am also aware (what is more serious) that it would tend to diminish the incomes of clairvoyants, bookmakers, bishops and others who live on the irrational hopes of those who have done nothing to deserve good fortune here or thereafter. ” Bertrand Russell

    People, why do you entertain the myths that you do?

    The 4 topics that conventional people tend to mythologize most about would be the matters of eschatology, death, question of immortality of man, how the world came to be and how it shall end, if at all.

    Secondly, human relationships. We all know that most of us need emotional affirmation to feel good about ourselves, man isnt a solitary animal, even I am willing to admit this. Yet the myth in this direction that I find most pernicious is that we tend to think that if we find just the one right person, or come across just the right circumstances in our personal lives, everything will be cured like magic. Exactly like magic indeed, at least thats the way we tend to think of it. I, for one, as a logician tend to believe that every event has a cause. Everything that happens in this world could be explained with pure reasoning, there is nothing that we need to think that 'just happened'.

    Thirdly, the miscellaneous myths that I would like to challenge. I believe that man interprets everything anthropomorphically. Or in other words, we think that the world revolves around us. We impose our personal characteristics onto things that we can not explain. That is why we for a long time have thought that the sun goes around the earth and that the earth is flat, since nearly all landmasses that we came across were flat. Mythologians who lived in the mountains thought that the terrain of our planet is generally rugged and uneven, yet those who lived in the fields and by the lakes thought that the whole world is just a one big plain. And as for our gods, they are thoroughly imbued in our personalities. The Greek gods of the Olympus resembled the political leaders of Athens, and the society of those gods functioned very much like the Athenian did. Same can be said for Romans and even for the more sophisticated versions of such mythologies like Islam, Christianity and Buddhism. Christian god is much like Jesus, Muslim God much like Muhammed, the Buddhist sages that are highly reverenced to this day seem to have a lot in common with the Budha. Figures, how we notice that the ENTJ Mohammed's religion is far more structured than that of Jesus and Buddha. Both of whom were INFJs. To conceal this, they proposed that they were made in the image of their gods and not the other way around.

    Okay...I suppose I can't prove that this is not true. But what reason do we have to suppose for this to be true? Is there anything in our theorizing about this world that could lead us to accept such ideas? No, there isn't. First we accepted the premise that there is a god, entirely on authority (uncritically), and then we looked for the most efficient way to make it seem reasonable. This is not search for truth because we are not looking for the most sound ideas, but are just trying to justify something that we have no reason to believe in whatsoever. First we set up our premises and then the conclusions may follow, not the other way around. And finally, the last comment on how man anthropomorphizes the universe--we try to look at everything through the standpoint of common-sense. We impose our basic hunches and instincts onto the complex problems that we wish to solve. We feel like we have free will, like we can make decisions based only on our private thoughts and feelings and then assume that on the higher metaphysical level, there must be free will! Just feels so intuitive that we cant miss it. No..no..our basic hunches and instincts should definitely be questioned.

    And lastly, political ideals. If eschatology is off limits to us, at least that we can't experience it, we might as well bring down heaven to Earth. What I am talking about is 'Christian Commonwealth', the whole world bowing down to Islam, Communist and Fascist Utopia and Anarchy. I aspire to show that none of those political ideals are acceptable and are results of man anthropomorphizing politics, just as truly as he anthropomorphized eschatology. Or in other words, trying to imagine how the world would conform to our tastes and prejudices instead of trying to understand it the way that it really is.

    I invite everyone to try their hand at solving the problems that are presented here. This is not ivory tower business, and the problems discussed here are serious public issues that have been plaguing humanity hitherto. All are encouraged to participate.

    Now, lets get straight to business.

    "It is always wrong for anyone, to believe anything on insufficient evidence" W.K Clifford


    Eschatology: Before we can start talking about the world to come, we ought to talk about this world first. As indeed our ideas about the world to come could not have derived from anywhere but our observations of this world. Why do we believe in god(s)? Philosophy of Thomas Hobbes may offer an explanation. At the beginning of the Leviathan, he says, people were uncouth and bewildered, they were only concerned with their own survival. How do we define good? Desired by me. So, obviously, the fundamental drive in human nature is getting ourselves what we want. Good is what we like, evil is what we dislike. What is the ultimate good? Obviously getting your way whenever you'd wish, or becoming god. (This wasn't in the Leviathan, I just used his ideas as a stepping stone to come up with this one..) Hence, at one point, a ruler took over. He was far superior in intellect to his subjects and they could hardly find fault in him. He represented their father figure very clearly, so they deified him. He did not hold up for very long, there were internicine struggles, and eventually the tribe was without any clear-cut authority. We ended up with having many people who had some measurement of power in the tribe who aspired to become the main leader, and at that point we believed in many gods. A few centuries down the road, when our communities became more organized, we now abandon polytheism and shift to monotheism. Hence, god was no more than a symbol for the powerful and reverenced, and our heavenly symbols corresponded well with the powerful and reverenced on earth. Irrefutable evidence could be found for this in history, most graphically evinced in David Hume's Natural History of Religion.

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    Why do we believe that the universe had a creator? Because we, with our finite minds think that everything had a creator. We create and design things on daily basis, thats the only way we know how to bring things into being. Go figure, since we know no better, thats how everything must have been conducted to begin with. This is exactly like how people who lived in the mountains thought the whole world was like a mountain and those who lived in the fields thought that the whole world was like a field. Don't we think that infinity exists? Our thoughts could be finite, but that is because our being is finite, as we can only think for so long. But can we really say, that thought (or the ethereal substance we process with our thoughts is finite too), we know we are attempting to grasp it somehow, but how can we put limits on it if we are not even sure what we are dealing with!?

    Aha! That must be the turning point here. It means that the universe isnt finite, but rather that only we are finite. Time, space, heat, color and all human notions, they are projected by us with our cognitive apperception. This has been affirmed by the 20th century physics, and first discovered by Immanuel Kant in the 18th century. Kant posited that the noumenal world, the pure essence of the universe is infinite. Yet we can not experience the infinite world because our minds are finite. Hence, we incept everything that there is through the scope of space, matter, time and so on. Anyhow, for the sake of this inquiry, we do not need to dig any further into Kantian metaphysics.

    The bottom line is that man anthropomorphizing everything that he comes across is a sufficient explanation for the bizarre myths about the afterlife that we enterain so far. It is no surprise that some Muslim sects assert that heaven is no more than paradise for warriors where every sensual pleasure of theirs is appeased. And many Biblical readings of the Christian heavens seem to be much more accomodating to SJs than any other type. One strong ruler whose authority is never questioned who takes care of all, who only seems fair, yet noone bothers to question exactly how fair he really is. And of course they all know their place and are there is never any confusion about who is supposed to be doing what. And its the same thing over and over again for eternity.

    Eschatology, is indeed the least profound and the least deserving topic of serious attention, as it is the oldest and most primitive. I think, however, that the more we fear something, the more likely we are to mythologize about it. And the more we are afraid, the more anthropomorphic we become, as when we are in that state of mind, we become less objective and project our qualities onto everything we think about. Figures, we fear death the most, so we start mythologizing a lot about life after death, and since we've lost all objectivity, we force our prejudices onto eschatological entities to a greater extent than we did on matters of politics, relationships and so on...


    Human Relationships: What tends to motivate us to behave in a way that we do? I'd say, as again, when we review what Thomas Hobbes has come up with, getting what we want. Psychological egoism stands firm. Or in other words, everything that we do, consciously or unconsciously is inspired by selfish motives. Not everything is consciously selfish, figures, Mother Theresa isnt out to serve herself in a conventional sense of the expression. But rather the case here is that she helps others because she enjoys helping them. That doesnt take away from her self-seeking ventures, but on the contrary affirms them. She is becoming the person that she wants to be by serving others.


    Why do we have an institution of marriage? In the past, I'd speculate, when it was a dog eat dog world, to a much greater extent than it is now. Today, if you're not fit, you will starve to death, but back then you could be eaten alive. Today you get expunged perhaps for not being adaptable or clever enough, but back in the day for not being physically tough enough. Men were physically stronger than women and hence if women wanted to survive, they needed to find someone who could protect them physically. So they decided to bond with a man who would guard them for the rest of their life. SJs tend not to like change very much, so they prefer to do things exactly the way that they did last year. The older the practice is, the more they will value it. They dont have to make sense or be congenial, they just have to give them a sense of security. And the older the practice is, the more appealing it is to the conventional man. Hence, the message that we get here is, preserve traditions under all circumstances. This is along the lines of how pork was banned in Arabic countries for sanitary reasons, yet now this ritual has been sanctified and people vehemently insist on the practice continuing even after it has become clear that it serves no good purpose. There, ther is our need for security once more.

    As we learn with Thomas Hobbes, we value people only to the extent that we need them (psychological egoism). Hence we want close relationships with people for two reasons, need for depth (N), and need for emotional closeness. (F) We tend to sustain long-term friendships because the two tend to be perennial needs for us. Yet, we should not look for those untill our inner identity is stabilized, this is crucial for extroverts who tend to be fickle. As then, they will change and it will turn out that they dont need the relationship anymore, and then the intimacy shall evaporate. EPs will likely leave, yet EJs, will stay and pretend that they still value the relationship out of a sense of duty.

    If close relationships are N and F business, where does this leave the STs? They marry to maintain tradition, do things as seem the most common-sensical (S-going by memory, doing what feels most natural, following authority, maintaining status quo). We marry just because 'thats what you do, and thats all there is to it", and we stay married because it will be too complex of a situation breaking up a marriage, they tend not to like complexities. SJs stay married because they have even more difficulty with change and complexities than SPs, and obviously for security reasons.

    That is all fine, I don't have anything against these kind of coping strategies to deal with complexities of life and the quest for security, but there is no reason to confuse this with true love.


    SJs tend to marry at the youngest age and stay married for longest periods of time. That is because marriage has nothing to do with intimacy, it is about security. SJs do not enjoy close emotional bonds nearly as much as the status of being married and how the convention starts playing in their favor, and of course the rituals, those they perceive as sacred.

    Sensors can not perceive emotions intuitively like NFs and NTs tend to be able to, hence they do not know if they are loved unless it is expressed in concrete terms. Marriage, presents, kisses and hugs and so on...is how they know that they are receiving affection. In the absence of those things, they may be completely unaware of the emotional aura of the environment. That is why they tend to think that marriage is essential to intimacy. One can not do without the other. As they cant have any idea of what intimacy is without a very concrete symbol representing it.

    So, whats the problem with marriage? If you really care deeply about that person and want to remain intimate with them for the rest of your life, dont you usually tend to trust that in such a situation they also care deeply about you and wish to keep the intimacy? Than why exactly must they be bound to an obligation to not be romantically involved with anyone else?

    We use the institution of marriage to impose sanctions on the other person. To maintain status quo. To keep their F ideas from getting carried away too far. To ensure that everything goes as planned, as institution of marriage often forces people to behave almost exactly in a way that society expects them to. You get stuffed into the husband or wife role and if you behave in a way that goes against the mores, you will likely be held to obloquy.

    That is the reason why SJs gravitate towards the institution of marriage more than any other type. It is not about furtherance of one's romantic interests, it is chiefly about security.

    Jean Paul Sartre (INTJ), a renowned existentialist author of the 20th century carried on an intimate lifelong relationship with Simone De Beauvoir (INFJ). They were closer and more candid than most married couples one can find, yet when they were young, they decided not to get married at any point. And moreover, they trusted one another to such a high degree that they never attempted to prevent one another from marrying or pursuing intimate relationships with others. Of course both may have felt that this may have been a threat to their relationship, yet, unlike those who married, they have resisted the temptation to become possessive of one another. Their intimacy was firm and candid till the very end because honesty and autonomy were highly vouched for in their relationship. They did not need to pretend to be something that they were not like the married couples did in order to fit this or that role or be in tune with a set of particular expectations.

    So my argument against the institution of marriage, in condensed form, is as follows.

    -Purpose of human relationships is to pursue emotional intimacy.
    -Marriage tends to take away from this because people tend to become possessive of one another.
    -In order for the quest for emotional intimacy to be as successful as possible, people must learn to accept each other for who they truly are. In the institution of marriage this tends to be difficult to do because people are forced into roles and external expectations that prevent them from being who they truly are. Moreover, since people tend to be possessive of each other, it is difficult for the two to be honest in the relationship as they are often pressured to be something that they are not to fit the expectations of the partner. They are forced to fit those expectations because they can not get out of the grasp of their possessive partner, as breaking up a marriage tends to be a headache.

    -Both parties tend to sacrifice much of their autonomy within the institution of marriage, and this makes it difficult for them to be true to themselves. They get ossified in conventional ways of carrying on a relationship and often confuse their need for security (the real reason they stay in marriage), for their pursuit of romantic interests. Marriage is unlikely to be conducive to one's emotional needs being satisfied because it tend to compromise autonomy and as a result of this honesty. (One cant be true to self upon loss of autonomy and inability to regain independence)

    Marriage is an Fe-ish institution. Most germane to the SFJ way of going about relationships. Personal criterion is clearly defined and can be expressed in prescribed ways externally, and is unlikely to change. This is not satisfactory because Fe does not represent one's inner being. It is the introverted functions that do.

    Emotional obligations for lifelong relationships are not desirable. Two people pursuing an intimate relationship should first and foremost allow for one another to be all that they want to be. If they, based on their private thinking decide that they want to continue the relationship, then that is indeed legitimate. Yet if they make this decision out of an external obligation, they are compromising their inner being in favor of the external standard. Thus, not being true to themselves.
    "Do not argue with an idiot. They drag you down to their level and beat you with experience." -- Mark Twain

    “No man but a blockhead ever wrote, except for money.”---Samuel Johnson

    My blog: www.randommeanderings123.blogspot.com/

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlueWing View Post
    ...Okay...I suppose I can't prove that this is not true. But what reason do we have to suppose for this to be true? Is there anything in our theorizing about this world that could lead us to accept such ideas? No, there isn't. First we accepted the premise that there is a god, entirely on authority (uncritically), and then we looked for the most efficient way to make it seem reasonable. This is not search for truth because we are not looking for the most sound ideas, but are just trying to justify something that we have no reason to believe in whatsoever. First we set up our premises and then the conclusions may follow, not the other way around. And finally, the last comment on how man anthropomorphizes the universe--we try to look at everything through the standpoint of common-sense. We impose our basic hunches and instincts onto the complex problems that we wish to solve. We feel like we have free will, like we can make decisions based only on our private thoughts and feelings and then assume that on the higher metaphysical level, there must be free will! Just feels so intuitive that we cant miss it. No..no..our basic hunches and instincts should definitely be questioned.
    The scientific method works like that, observation & description of the problem, explanation by making an hypothesis, prediction for another case according to explanation and, finally, experiment in order to test your conclusions, and I think can be a useful method for seeking the truth. But it implies that you have to start by an hypothesis that you have already formulated. And an hypothesis which has never been refuted is necessarily non-false.
    The existence or non-existance of God falls in this case: noone can categorically prove or disprove his existence. So, yes there is no good reason why to believe in God

  3. #3
    Tenured roisterer SolitaryWalker's Avatar
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    Hence, there is no reason to believe that rituals that we entertain in our daily lives, or traditional wisdom that we endorse has any merit. The older a tradition is, the more likely it is to be favorable to man's crude impulses, which are highly anthropomorphic. This underscores the ultimate absurdity of the SJ maxim of how an older a tradition is, the more meritorious it is. It is more like the other way around. The older it is, the more it has been accepted on authority, and the less there has been on the way of independent thinking. Theories of science and philosophy are always to be criticized to the end of coming up with the most sound ideas possible. We should never stop questioning what we believe. Yet, traditional wisdom stands to this day because it has not been questioned much, and the less it has been questioned, the longer it is likely to stand, and the older it is, the more likely it is to be non-sensical.

    There is a manifest correlation between preserving the old ways of thinking and lack of willingness to learn. For example, Medieval Russia deemed the authority of the Tsar to be infallible, they thought that he was literally God's representative on earth. There was nothing spiritual about this, they just needed a father figure. And I am not surprised at all that we have a connection here between deification of the tsar and 90% of the population being uneducated peasants.

    Miscellaneous Myths:

    First of all we have the common-place myth of creation. Classical example of man anthropomorphizing the universe.

    Upon our discovery of the infinite realm, it follows that the infinite realm is all that there is. To be infinite and to be ubiquitous are synonymous expressions. Thus, god being infinite, implies that god is all. There can not be a certain number of gods, because quantity is a property of the finite realm. How can we count something does not have a limit? And how can we start counting if it does not have a beginning? Thus, god can not have a self in a way that we do. He is not a person.

    Hence, what we have here is an emanation theory. We look at the infinite universe, and translate it into the finite entity with our representational apparatus, what Kant called apriori apperception or the Practical Reason. The universe always existed the way that it was. It is always fluctuating in accordance to the laws that are imprinted within it. Would make more sense to say that the laws are the way we perceive the universe, or rather mathematics is one way for us to describe laws of nature, though there is nothing mathematical about nature as a thing in itself. Yet, everything that we see in the finite world, emanates from the infinite, it could be traced all the way back to that point.

    As for the nature of revelation. There is no infallible authority to back that one up. What happened is that the prophets tried to access the infinite realm with their Intuitions, and tried to translate them into the format the common man could understand by presenting them in parables and relating them to concrete symbols. The prophets were mostly INFJs or INTJs.

    Their 19th century peers, Nietzsche and Dostoevsky were hailed as prophets. Dostoevksy propounded that mother Russia, since through all of its years has been a backwards country, yet remained so pious will eventually turn around out of its tailspin and be god's chosen country. God is intentionally making it suffer, as a test of faith. Dostoevsky was later hailed as a genius and a prophet just for appeasing the prejudices of the common man. Tolstoy's writings had the same effect on the common-place Russian folk. At WWII, their writings were invoked not because they were profound and shed light on how human nature or the world was, but because they reinforced what people already wanted to believe in.

    Much of the same could be said for the Old Testament writers. Visionaries who were deified were the ones whose claims were favorable to the common folk. It is no wonder that we read about those who claimed that the Jews were god's chosen people in the Old Testament to this day! There is certainly a connection between this and what Dostoevsky later claimed at his Pushkin speech.

    Nietzsche's visions were as powerful as those of the prophets of the Old Testament. He felt an intense vision lodging within his inner being, but unlike them, as he lived in the 19th century--more informed of science and philosophy, his thinking was more in tune with pure reason and less in tune with raw hunches and impulses. He was less anthropomorphic. Hence, that is why he did not take for his vision to be a person (god), as they did.

    The prophets of the old testament were more influential because they did a better job of appealing to the passions and prejudices of the common man. They were more anthropomorphic, and more in tune with the way the primitive man thought.

    Success has little to do with merit. To paraphrase Schopenhauer, would a musician really be flattered to hear boisterous applause after his performance if then he was told that his entire audience was deaf, and the few hearing people in the front raw were taking bribes to raise a round of applause for the poorest player? The most successful by external standards are the ones that appease the public prejudices the most, and you have to be pretty crude to manage that.

    Fideism: Belief in god entirely on a leap of faith, as it has nothing to do with reason. This is not acceptable because after you do this, you will then try to concoct a philosophy (using reason) to justify a belief that you have no reason to accept within reason alone. This will compromise intellectual honesty. We should not accept anything, of which acceptance can not be justified with logical argument.


    Free Will: Again, as we have established, everything in the world operates in accordance to the laws of nature. To say that there is one occurence in the world that did not follow as a consequence of the antecedent is a sheer appeal to magic. Man is part of the system he is environed in, that means that he necessarily obeys the laws of his environment or laws of nature. In order for this to change, he must transcend his system. There he would have to be infinite. That is not possible, as to be infinite means to be the system itself. Thus man necessarily obeys the laws of nature and does not have free will. Lets not confuse the practical for theoretical; man will always feel like he has free will, that is why in the practical world he is responsible for his actions. Yet again, this does not mean that because we feel in control of our actions, we have metaphysical free will. We would need to do further inquiry to settle that question. Some may argue that science has shown that we have neurons firing from outside of the chimp's brain which signifies their thought. Hence, since it becomes from the inside of their brain, it follows that they have free will. But again, the case is that we dont know if the substance that generated those neurons derived from within, or the outside of the agent. Highly likely outside, as the chimp is within a larger system.



    Evil:

    The notion of evil is another manifest example of man anthropomorphizing the universe. We tend to think that things that we find upsetting, like murder, rape and theft are evil in themselves. They make the universe less of a sound place. Though, the reality of it is that those ideas derive from HUMAN NATURE, and not the nature of the universe. We think that there is justice somewhere up above because if we were creating a world of our own and saw certain characters suffer, to be fair to them, we would have to reward them to compensate for the pain they endured, and punish those who hurt them. Yes, that is true, that is what justice would in accordance to human nature. Now lets look at a mouse that has been eaten by a hawk. We certainly could say that this is an injustice because the mouse was just minding its own business and gets eaten, what did it deserve to die such a painful death? The hawk is obviously evil and must be punished. Obviously, the hawk was just doing what benefited him, and the mouse was in a position where it was forced in the way of pain. Analogously, an ant, if he were a metaphysician, would thank his god for settling him in the grass where its easy to dig a whole for himself and collect the herbal resources that he needs. Whilst other species, to whom circumstances have been less propitious died out. Hence, god was not favorable to them. The reality of this is that mother nature may have had a design of some kind, but she didnt keep the poor ant's wishes in mind when she concocted her design. The ant survived because he happened to be put in a way of propitious circumstances, and managed to adapt to his circumstances in a way that his needs would be sated. Species that did not survive failed to adapt. Indeed this world may be a very complex design and many needs must be met in order for us to survive, but this does not mean that the design was meant to be accomodating to our needs. That is just like saying that rabbits were made with black tails so it would be easier for us to shoot them. No, we have manuevered around our external circumstances to accomodate our own needs, there was no pre-existing accomodation from the outside. Accordingly, we see how fish that resided in caves has been blinded over generations, and descendants of animals like the giraffe were shorter in the past. They have grown taller because they were forced to adjust to external circumstances. Nature, is entirely blind to our needs. There is no connection between human nature and laws of nature (physics and metaphysics).

    Hence, evil only happens to us, this does not make the universe evil, all this means is that the universe is not accomodating to us.

    Faith: What is faith? Often offered as a solution to all of world's miseries. What we have here is a proposition that if you follow a set of teachings, you will be rewarded in this world or the world to come. No explanation is given for why this is the case, only that it is the case. Hence all you know is that you just 'do it', without understanding what you do, or why you do it. The fact that you do good deeds because of faith is mere coincidence, as you are just following orders. In terms of intrinsic moral essence, a man of faith who helps the poor is not at all to be preferred to the man who commits genocide on faith. Their actions are not to be attributed to their character because they were merely carrying out the orders of others. They did not exercise a will of their own. A man who commits genocide, at his essence is a blind follower, and so is a man who helps the poor. At their inner essence, there is no distinction. We could then ask why one accepted the order to commit genocide and the other accepted the order to help the poor. Isnt the one who helped the poor to be preferred? The answer is no because to act on faith means to do the bidding of an external will. He complied not because he liked the idea of helping the poor, but because he was complying with an order.
    Political Ideals:

    What is true freedom? Freedom is often depicted as positive or negative. Positive is the way Saint Paul used that word in the book of Romans, to be devoid of sin. To have every positive quality one can have. Negative liberty-to be without external sanctions.

    A radical form of negative liberty proposition is anarchy. Conversely, positive liberty, fascism. Where everyone is forced to obtain positive qualities of character based on external standards.

    I'd certainly say it is more important to have positive qualities of character than to be without tyranny, but the positive qualities of character can come only from the inside and not the outside.

    Here is an example of positive liberty gone bad. Thomas Hobbes argues that even if man can find an internal standard of morality, most are not introspective enough to discover it. So it is best to obey the convention. Later on the leader will bring paradise down to earth, everyone will be happy so long as they obey the leader. That is not quite good enough, as the leader will have no reason to make everyone happy, he will likely turn out more like Hitler and do whatever suits his needs. And the more power-thirsty we are, the more likely we are to wish to control others. And the more we wish to control others, the less in tune we will be with our inner being. Thus, then there will be hardly any limit to the havoc we may stir in the external world as we then will have very little on the way of inner sanctions. (Hence, EJs are most power-thirsty, yet have the least control over themselves because the stronger their Extroverted Judgment becomes, the weaker their introverted judgment becomes.)

    Despotism is inevitable in such a case.

    Hobbes did indeed get one thing right, even the worst despot is better than anarchy. If everyone really was an independent thinker, and internally focused enough we would not have a problem with anarchy. Because people would cherish their inner peace first and foremost and would be unlikely to create havoc in the external world, because then they cant practice their meditations. Moreover, because of their strong internal focus, they would have little interest in power and would simply allow those few who have little interest as opposed to none at all in politics set up whatever little order that needs to be. I've highlighted the independent thinking maxim because one reason man relies on authority is the need to be told how to live their lives, and once they elect such an authority, the authority becomes tyrannous on the pretext of giving instructions on how life is to be lived and on the claim of instillment of order.

    We know that people need authority because they cant think for themselves and do not understand the deleterious consequence of stirring up havoc in the world. If we let them as they be, it is highly likely that in the state of anarchy anyone, who manages to, (usually the most power thirsty of all) will come to power and will likely be the worst despot after their power is solidified.

    Both fascism and communism lead to possibly the worst despot we could find, one explicitly, and the other inadvertently. It is best that we set up authority figures who are unable to become tyrannous and willfully surrender parts of our freedom right now, as opposed to seek full freedom which will likely lead to the complete opposite, despotism, as a tyrant we will need someone to bring order to our community just to survive, and after they accomplish this. We have two options. Attempt to overthrow them, or leave ourselves completely without faculties to prevent them from being the worst despot possible.

    Meaning in life could be found only through candid introspection, through attunement with our inner being.

    Socrates once taught that ethics is no more than an expansion of the know thyself maxim. Or understanding what you are like and being the best you can be. Hence, one will not find satisfaction in life through any external endeavor, unless of course, one sees a sense of an internal purpose in the external act. I am not saying that there is something wrong with pursuing external activities, but we should not seek to be validated from the outside.

    Hence, internal purpose must always hold primacy over the external. Or we will fall slave to the orders of the external world without having any control over who we are or what we do. To be free means to be true to oneself.


    In this respect, democracy may not even be the best society we can find. As the common-folk often mistakes their external tasks for their true compelling inner motives and create havoc in the external world. What we need is a responsible monarchy that is unlikely to become despotic, that maintains a low-key order in the external world. This happened in many small and obscure eastern nations, but there the case was likely that most of the population was introverted. Hence the rulers had little interest in external activities and thus tended not to be interested in controlling others to a great extent, and there was little to control because people were internally focused and were unlikely to create chaos. Since most people are less reflective than they were, it is unlikely that monarchy will work for us, as the authority figures will need to control the thoughtless and irresponsible folk, and will themselves likely become tyrannous in process. That is why the autonomy of authority figures needs to be limited as well. In the perfect world, democracy is not the most congenial political regime, yet, unfortunately, in the Extroverted Society that we live in, our only other choices are barbarism or despotism.

    What must be done

    After having rid ourselves of all superstition and managed to think clearly, we shall become masters of our lives. We then will have obtained a true sense of inner freedom. A sound person is one who does not depend on external circumstances to be happy. Only through attunement with one's inner being can one find the inner peace, and after having properly understood the external world--one shall be able to adapt to the circumstances without compromising inner integrity.
    "Do not argue with an idiot. They drag you down to their level and beat you with experience." -- Mark Twain

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  4. #4
    Tenured roisterer SolitaryWalker's Avatar
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    No feedback, as usual?
    "Do not argue with an idiot. They drag you down to their level and beat you with experience." -- Mark Twain

    “No man but a blockhead ever wrote, except for money.”---Samuel Johnson

    My blog: www.randommeanderings123.blogspot.com/

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    filling some space UnitOfPopulation's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlueWing View Post
    No feedback, as usual?
    I have something, and I'll catch up to this later. First, some sleep for me! It's 2 AM..

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    Senior Member htb's Avatar
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    It's an awful lot to work through, especially for those of us who come here for socializing and the comparison of small volumes of information. Personally, I have moved forward from these sorts of cogitations -- others are welcome, but I have neither the time nor the desire to spend so much time inside my head.

    So I skim and silently appreciate. I will say, however, having been linked to my weblog some time ago, you might consider that my tiny (and equally silent) audience hardly dissuades me from continuing to think and write -- the hobby continues because I enjoy it, specifically, as well as the use and refinement of a skill. In lieu of a real dialogue, ratiocinate.

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    Senior Member ptgatsby's Avatar
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    On the marriage bit.

    Marriage is a contract between two people to face life together, to take on responsibilities that each could not do alone. It makes perfect sense to codify such security. You will be codifying yourself dozens if not significantly more. I assume you have student loans, or scholarships? Why not do them without a contract? Why have you sign the student ethics (if you had to) page?

    Marriage is a public proclamation of togetherness to as to create a socially identified unit. It codifies responsibilities and increases the ability of others to perform relatively more accurate heuristics. Public information and designations increase the speed at which we can calculate changing situations.

    It is the same as in business;

    If you are a supplier and need raw material, you sign a contract to get the raw materials, sign a contract with the manufacturer, sign a contract with distributor... you sign them so that you do not take on the materials without a way to handle them, etc.

    And of course, the same reason why businesses talk about agreements and partnerships when they could be kept private.

    (I would assume that the psychological relevance to declarations, the effect on pair bonding, the financial and so forth are either irrelevant or not sufficient to you.)

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    Protocol Droid Athenian200's Avatar
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    I agree with your views on traditions like marriage and afterlife, BlueWing. We tend to have stifling traditions that don't really mean anything, or force people into stereotypical roles, depriving them of individuality, something I cherish for some reason. (I always disliked something about traditions... now I know what.) This is the reason my fifth favorite quote is, "We do not see things as they are, we see things as we are."

    We cannot fully escape the human element of our perceptions. There will always be an element of self-projection onto our environment for understanding. It is inevitable. But I still think that if more people understood how much more existed than just symbols and traditions, so many barriers to learning would be removed.

    Humanity sometimes reminds me of rays of light trying to escape from a black hole. That thought occurred to me just now. But I know what I projected. Humanity onto the light, and our eventual fate (death) onto the black hole. A look into how our minds work.

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    Tenured roisterer SolitaryWalker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ptgatsby View Post
    On the marriage bit.

    Marriage is a contract between two people to face life together, to take on responsibilities that each could not do alone. It makes perfect sense to codify such security. You will be codifying yourself dozens if not significantly more. I assume you have student loans, or scholarships? Why not do them without a contract? Why have you sign the student ethics (if you had to) page?

    Marriage is a public proclamation of togetherness to as to create a socially identified unit. It codifies responsibilities and increases the ability of others to perform relatively more accurate heuristics. Public information and designations increase the speed at which we can calculate changing situations.

    It is the same as in business;

    If you are a supplier and need raw material, you sign a contract to get the raw materials, sign a contract with the manufacturer, sign a contract with distributor... you sign them so that you do not take on the materials without a way to handle them, etc.

    And of course, the same reason why businesses talk about agreements and partnerships when they could be kept private.

    (I would assume that the psychological relevance to declarations, the effect on pair bonding, the financial and so forth are either irrelevant or not sufficient to you.)

    Thank you, that is a much more respectable perspective on the institution of marriage than the 'true love' hocus pocus.
    "Do not argue with an idiot. They drag you down to their level and beat you with experience." -- Mark Twain

    “No man but a blockhead ever wrote, except for money.”---Samuel Johnson

    My blog: www.randommeanderings123.blogspot.com/

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    Glowy Goopy Goodness The_Liquid_Laser's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlueWing
    People, why do you entertain the myths that you do?
    Well why not? How can one worldview be determined to be superior to another? Isn't it an arbitrary distinction, or is there some truely objective way to determine if one method of reaching conclusions is superior to another in every context? Even things like "logic" and "science" can be described as myths based on tradition. Isn't "logic" just a tradition handed down from the ancient Greeks? Isn't the scientific tradition simply methods handed down from people like Descartes and Occam?

    It seems like "logic" and "science" are simply methods that are created by NT's and therefore appeal to other NT's. Why should an ESFJ, for example, consider these methods to be superior to things like religious tradition, courteousness, or emotional bonding? Perhaps the ESFJ is closer to knowing "Truth", than an INTP who obsessively studies philosophy? The INTP merely considers logic to be a superior method simply because he can't understand any other method, even though the other methods lead to enlightenment.

    What proof is there that the NT method is superior to the SJ method? A good proof should not have axioms that appeal specifically to NT's such as "Truth is objective and can be discovered through logic" or "It is always wrong for anyone, to believe anything on insufficient evidence".
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